Making New Candles From Old Wax

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Photo By Arlene Shovald
Light up your house with homemade candles.

Making new candles from old is easy and the results are always a surprise.

You’ll need a crockpot or double boiler that won’t be used for anything else. Never melt wax in the microwave or over direct heat; it is highly flammable. You’ll also need metal tabs to anchor wicks and wicking, both available at hobby stores. String won’t work. Here are the rest of the materials I use to make candles:

• Plastic pudding cups or 3-ounce plastic bathroom cups for molds
• Sticks
• An old coffee pot or metal pitcher
• A strainer
• A ladle
• Newspapers to protect floors and counters 

Combine similarly colored candles in the crockpot or double boiler. (For extra color, add old crayons.) Cut wicks about 5 inches long for as many candles as you expect to make. Dip wicks in melted wax and pull them straight, allowing them to cool. After they’re cool, thread them through the metal tabs. Pour melted wax through the strainer into a metal container to remove old matches, tabs and wicks. Pour about a tablespoon of wax in each mold and set the tab/wick in the center. Let the wax set and lay a stick across the top of the molds to keep the wick centered. When the wicks are set, pour wax into the molds. Allow candles to set overnight, but keep enough wax to melt later and fill in the “wells” that form in the center as the wax cools.

To remove from the molds, first heat water in an old pan and place waxed paper on a cookie sheet. Holding the candle by the wick, dip it in the hot water for a few seconds, slip the mold off and set the candles on the waxed paper. Trim wicks to about a quarter-inch and you’re done.

Arlene Shovald 
Salida, Colorado